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Need For Harmonized North Armerican Livestock Traceability Systems Recognised

by 5m Editor
17 July 2006, at 2:59pm

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2196. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2196

The chair of the Canadian Pork Council's swine traceability committee says there's widespread recognition of the need to harmonize systems for identifying and tracking livestock within North America.

Livestock identification and traceability was among the issues discussed when officials of the Canadian, American and Mexican swine industries gathered in San Francisco in May and the matter was addressed again earlier this month when representatives of the Canadian and US industries met in Winnipeg.

CPC traceability committee chair Dennis McKerracher says, in light of the fact that foreign animal diseases do not recognize international borders, the North American swine industries are working to harmonize their systems as best they can.

"With regards to traceability, first of all we all recognize that we do compete with each other for certain international markets but, when we talk about the good of our North American industry, we set that aside. The fact that the US and Canada, for instance, and Mexico, we will have different systems.

It's not saying that one system is better than the other. We have different needs in our countries on what they system has to address and so we're looking at making sure that what we all agree to as a minimum level of traceability needs is met with all the countries.

The dialogue between the US and Canada, especially, is just excellent with regards to discussions on traceability, primarily because of that north south movement. There again, with our counterparts in Mexico at the trilateral meetings, the information is very transparent.

Everybody puts their cards on the table and explains their systems."

McKerracher notes we operate in an integrated North American market. He suggests, in the event of a crisis, everyone involved will need to be aware of the interface among the three systems and the necessary steps to be taken to react.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor